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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

A Significant Moment

I credit an incident from childhood for my interest, curiosity and the desire to bring awareness to natural and alternative approaches to healing forward, through Natural Awakenings. It was a hot summer day and one that is hard to forget.

At 8 years old, my dad was a towering and revered figure in my life. As with many of us as young children, my dad was very much a hero to me. He was the kind of man that would “give the shirt off his back to a stranger.” A man of few words; a deep thinker who was charismatic and one who thoroughly relished instigating and sharing in laughter.

Being in the business of bodywork, car and semi-tractor trailer bodywork that is, he was a resilient man of great stature. To me, he was invincible. At that age, I had never seen him in a physically vulnerable position until one day he arrived home from work and my mom and brother needed to assist him with getting out of the car and into the house.

He had injured his back severely and was literally bent in half, unable to stand even partially erect. To see him in this state was the scariest thing I had ever seen. It wasn’t long before we were off to the chiropractor and he used the phrase that he was, “going to get rolled over a barrel.” In the mind of an 8 year-old, I had visions of the chiropractor rolling him over a wine barrel and later, I had my first lesson in what chiropractors really do.

I waited in the car with my mom while he received his first in a series of adjustments and remember being amazed at how different he looked on the way out after having required Mom's assistance gingerly walking up the pathway in, nearly fully bent over.

That was the day I learned that the chiropractic industry had been systematically attacked and maligned by the American Medical Association and that osteopathic doctors used the “whole-person” approach rather than treating symptoms, as was then more than typical in allopathic medicine.

I’m grateful to see the medical community making major shifts toward the whole-person approach with functional, biological and regenerative medicine. I know there’s a long way to go and see how far we’ve come since that summer day in 1972. Dad would be over-joyed and proud to know his great-grandson, Cameron is a contributor to this forward movement as he is about to receive his Doctorate in Chiropractic.

In honor of Father’s Day, we’re all about the men this month. I hope you find something for yourself or something to share with a man you love within our pages this and every month.



Maisie Raftery, Publisher